Unity Law has successfully represented a client in what is thought to be one of only a small number of legal cases brought against a service provider for the homophobic actions of its staff.
When the client, referred to as “Tim”, asked for a refund on some patio locks, the shop assistant at the store began to abuse him. A judge at Southend County Court accepted Tim’s evidence that the shop assistant “blew a sarcastic kiss” at him as he left the shop.
The shop assistant continued to harass “Tim” with mocking gestures on about 20 further occasions. The court hear that these had taken place in public, when the victim was passing the shop, which was in his local area, and the shop assistant was outside on a cigarette break.
This abuse was highly embarrassing for him and it only stopped when “Tim” issued his Equality Act claim in the county court.
The judge ruled that this was not a minor event and awarded “Tim” £7,500 compensation for the abuse.
After the hearing, “Tim” said that he had issued the case to prevent future incidences of discrimination and homophobia occurring.
“I will be absolutely chuffed if this case prevents one person from carrying out a homophobic act in the future and additionally, if this case provides one person with the courage and conviction to come forward and report an act of harassment and homophobia in the future,” he said.
Douglas Johnson (pictured) from Unity Law said that the case was one of very few brought in the courts of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.
“Just by issuing his claim, Tim made the abuse stop and we are pleased he was awarded a significant sum of damages,” he said.